Applying for Work Visas While Already Working Abroad

Travel Forums General Talk Applying for Work Visas While Already Working Abroad

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1. Posted by FoxtrotSix (Budding Member 2 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

So I recently finished my B.A in Educational Studies and have lined up an employer in Poland, they just sent me all the required documents for a work visa. My plan is to spend the next few years teaching abroad in different countries. Years ago I taught English in China on a "commercial business visa" and I met some Americans and Canadians who would work in a different country every year and now that I have my degree I want to do the same. So my question is does anyone have the basic rundown of applying for a work visa in a different country while already working abroad.

For example towards the end of my contract in Poland I would want to line up a work visa in say Brazil, that way I can basically go from Poland straight to Brazil without needing to spend two weeks in the US waiting for a visa to come back (that would make my finances really hard to manage considering exchange rates, hotels, flights, etc). I'm having trouble finding information on how this would work and I'm going to consult a travel agent but I wouldn't mind getting some second thoughts. Should I get a second US passport and alternate which passport I use every year, that way one can be processed in the US while I finish the work visa on my other passport?

Any info is helpful! Thanks!

2. Posted by Andrew Mack (Travel Guru 1037 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

I don't know the answer to your question but my 1st port of call would be the embassy websites for details of work visas.
I suspect that would only be a partial answer but I'd then call a few of them to see what advice they could give about it.

[ Edit: Edited on 16-Aug-2019, 22:48 GMT by Andrew Mack ]

3. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 937 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

I don't think a travel agent will have the specialist knowledge you need.

As Andy suggests, you first need to check out the relevant work visa requirements (e.g. in order to get a work permit in Brazil you first need a job: when the employer has the appropriate permission from the Ministry of Labour you then make the application in your home country). Look at the the official embassy or consulate websites.

It is a common requirement for work visa/permit applications (which are rarely processed with great speed) to be made from the home country.

It might be worth posting about this on a specialist ESL/TEFL forum such as http://www.eslcafe.com/ or a more generalised ex-pat forum such as http://www.expatarrivals.com/ (which has pages for each country detailing work visa/permit and residency requirements).

[ Edit: Edited on 17-Aug-2019, 06:35 GMT by leics2 ]

4. Posted by highlandspring (Budding Member 16 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

Usually you need the visa before you travel, when I was a student (30 years ago!) there were books full of places to write off to get a job offer that you could use to get a visa.

I was able to get a Swiss work permit this way for a summer job, I am sure these days you can do all of this online.

5. Posted by FoxtrotSix (Budding Member 2 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

Okay I have an answer and I'll post it here in case other people are wondering. To clarify the issue is that some countries, like Poland and China, require you to "schedule an appointment and submit the paperwork in person at the nearest consulate" for long term business or work visas. I use a travel agent for this because they can be "representatives" who hire a courier or something so that you don't actually have to go to the consulate yourself. The visas can up take to two weeks or longer to clear since an employer is involved, and during that time you don't have your passport. If I was in Poland without my passport for two weeks and something happened they would think I am working illegally, and that would be very bad news bears.

The solution is that US citizens can have two valid passports at once and you can apply at the nation's embassy even if it is in other countries. So passport A can have a work visa for Poland and while you are using passport A you can take passport B to the Brazilian embassy in Poland and have a work visa processed there for passport B. This way you always have a valid passport and visa on you and don't have to worry about a passport getting lost in the international mail system, especially in developing countries.

Thanks for the responses!

6. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 937 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

I'm glad you have found your answer. Thank you for coming back to explain.

A 'travel agent' organises travel. A 'visa agency' organises visas. They are two different things, hence my comment above.

they can be "representatives" who hire a courier or something so that you don't actually have to go to the consulate yourself.

A visa agent obviously cannot attend a visa interview or medical so, for countries which require either or both for a work visa, the applicant him or herself will still need to attend the embassy or consulate.

And, of course, not every country allows its citizens to carry two concurrent passports.

7. Posted by Andrew Mack (Travel Guru 1037 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

Quoting FoxtrotSix

Okay If I was in Poland without my passport for two weeks and something happened they would think I am working illegally, and that would be very bad news bears.

If you have a good photocopy of your passport (details page and visa stamp page) then It's unlikely to be a problem in most countries.
It needs to have your passport number, picture and any visa numbers clearly visible, so they can check their systems electronically.
Obviously the odd 'jobsworth' will point out the rules say you need the original, but somewhere in the chain of command above him there will be someone with common sense that understands the situation when explained.